Best Conventional Produce: 15 Lowest Pesticide Choices

Do you only buy organic produce? We find it difficult to buy only organic — price and availability mean that at least some of our produce is conventionally-grown. To make smart, budget-friendly decisions, we like to know which types of conventional produce have the least amounts of pesticides and chemicals. These are the ones we buy. Come see which types of conventionally-grown produce have the least pesticides involved in their cultivation.

The Environmental Working Group released its annual list of produce to avoid and which ones are the safest bet to buy conventional this week. We pulled a list of safest fruits and vegetables from the bottom 15.

We like to scan this list for help in buying produce. We are more comfortable buying lower-pesticide fruits and vegetables (like the ones on the list below) from conventionally-grown sources. We save our money for organic versions of higher-pesticide fruits and vegetables (like apples, celery, and strawberries — check the full list to see more).

It's intuitive that produce with a natural inedible peel like avocado and cantaloupe would be high on this list. But mushrooms and asparagus?

Conventional Produce with Lowest Pesticide Levels

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  7. Mangos
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe (Domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

How do you determine whether to buy organic or conventional produce?

Read more: Environmental Working Group's 2011 Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Related: Organic or Local: Which Is More Important to You?

(Images: Flickr user rick licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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